Understanding The DUI Process in Florida

All You Need To Know about Florida’s DUI Procedure

Were you arrested for drunk driving (DUI) in Florida? If yes, you’ve already passed through the first stage of the DUI process in the state. This means that a law enforcement official signaled you over and stopped your vehicle for a traffic violation. For this stop to be lawful, the law enforcement official must have had probable cause to pull you over. For example, they may have seen you speeding, driving without your lights on, having something (an obstruction) hanging from your rearview mirror, etc.

If that isn’t the case, then you were probably apprehended at a sobriety checkpoint or after an auto crash. An officer will likely ask you to submit to standardized field sobriety tests if they suspect that you’re under the influence. If they still believe you are intoxicated, then you will be arrested and taken in for further testing (breath and blood tests).

However, this is only the first stage in the DUI process. This article focuses on what to expect after an arrest for drinking and driving in Florida.

Why Should I Be Bothered About The DUI Process?

Knowledge of The DUI Process Helps You to Better Prepare for Your Case

Having a firm grasp of the DUI procedures is helpful for numerous reasons. One of the primary ones is that it can alleviate your anxiety. If you aren’t familiar with the process, it will likely appear more intimidating. This puts you at high risk of making avoidable mistakes that can negatively impact your case’s outcome.

With a basic understanding of what to expect, you can prepare better for your case and control the direction of it to a significant degree.

What Should I Expect After A Lawful Traffic Stop And Arrest for DUI in Florida?

A Step-By-Step Breakdown of The DUI Process in Florida

These are the typical procedures you’ll pass through after a Florida DUI arrest:

Pretrial Release 

After a DUI arrest in Florida, the law allows the officer to hold you temporarily for a minimum of 8 hours. This is enough time for your BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) to significantly reduce or for your normal facilities to be restored. When it’s time for your release, you’ll either be freed by posting a bond or on your recognizance.

First Appearance

If you haven’t been lawfully released within 24 hours after your arrest, you’ll have to attend a first court appearance. Also called an advisory hearing, this initial appearance aims to address numerous immediate concerns. This includes determining whether there was probable cause for your arrest, setting conditions for your release, discussing attorney appointment, and other details.

Arraignment, Pretrial Hearing, And Plea Bargains 

Arraignment comes soon after your release or initial appearance. During arraignment, the court will inform you of the charges against you. You may also enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest during your arraignment.

If you plead guilty or no contest, your case will proceed to sentencing. However, if you enter a not-guilty plea, the court will set a date for a pretrial hearing.

The goal of a pretrial hearing is to determine whether you and the prosecution can resolve the case before trial. During this time, your attorney has the opportunity to file several pretrial motions. These include motions to dismiss, suppress physical evidence/confessions, and demand for discovery.  You may also enter a plea bargain, for example, to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Trial, Sentencing, And Appeals 

If your case goes to trial, the jury may either find you guilty or not guilty of DUI. In the event you are found guilty, the judge will announce your sentence, which may include jail time, fines, and license suspension. You can appeal this decision to a higher court. If you’re found not guilty, you’ll be acquitted of your charge and set free.

Do I Need A DUI Attorney?

An Aggressive DUI Lawyer Can Help Your Case in Numerous Ways

When it comes to the DUI processes in Florida, the laws are pretty clear about what to expect. Nevertheless, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to defending your DUI charge. With so many factors to consider and an unlimited number of turns your case can take, you need to be prepared for anything.

So, while we can give you a general overview of Florida’s DUI process, you need a defense strategy that’s tailored to your particular situation.


Only an experienced Florida DUI attorney can do this for you. A competent DUI lawyer will evaluate your situation and advise you on your options. They will aggressively defend your case or negotiate the best outcome on your behalf.

Contact The Aggressive DUI Attorneys at Taracks & Associates Now

Let Us Help You Beat Your Florida DUI

At Taracks & Associates, we’re committed to helping you get the best results in your case. Whether it’s defending your charge or negotiating to mitigate it, be assured that we will bring our best in fighting for your rights.

In summary, the penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, and you need the assistance of our knowledgeable attorneys to avoid them. Also, there are strict deadlines to meet in DUI cases, so it’s advisable to contact us the first chance you get after your arrest.

Schedule a free consultation with our law firm now by dialing 813-281-2897 today.


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